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Flowers growing in garden area.
If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, then being out in the garden can, at times, be less than enjoyable. But there are some steps you can take to create an allergy-friendly garden so you can spend more time gardening and less time sneezing.

 

Choose low-allergy plants

First, make sure you choose plants that are pollinated by birds and insects rather than the wind. Plants that pollinate themselves using the wind release millions of tiny pollen grains. These grains are what cause hay fever and the related symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose and itchy throat.

By choosing low-pollen plants for your garden, you can reduce the amount of pollen in the air. As a general rule, the larger and showier the flowers, the more allergenic they will be.

Tiered garden area with variety of plants and flowers.

Choose allergy-friendly plants

Trees: Apple, cherry, crabapple, dogwood, magnolia, pear, plum.

Shrubs: Azalea, boxwood, hibiscus, hydrangea, rhododendron, viburnum.

Flowers: Daffodil, daisy, daylily, geranium, impatiens, iris, pansy, petunia, rose, sunflower, tulip, zinnia.

Daffodils.

Plants to avoid

Herbs: Chamomile, wormwood.

Weeds: Paterson's curse, plantago or asthma weed.

Shrubs and trees: Alder, ash, birch, cypress, elm, liquidambar, maple, Monterey pine, mesquite, oak, olive, poplar, privet, she oak, walnut, white cedar, white cypress/Murray pine, willow.

There are some other steps you can take to make sure your allergy doesn't flare up when you're out in the garden:

  • Avoid going outside on days when the pollen count is extremely high.
  • Don't garden or mow the lawn when it's really windy.
  • On cool, wet days the pollen count will generally be low.
  • Avoid cutting back trees and shrubs when they are in bloom.
  • Wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs along with a hat and sunglasses to protect from flying pollen.
  • Keep your grass cut very low to inhibit seeds.
  • Remove weeds such as Paterson's curse, plantago or asthma weed.

An alternative to grass

Grasses and weeds can also trigger allergies so it might be worth considering a synthetic alternative. Synthetic or “fake grass” is not only allergy-free, it's low maintenance, easy to install yourself and a great way to make sure you have green grass all year round.

Fake grass.

Create your own allergy-friendly garden

While it's hard to avoid everything that triggers your allergies and hay fever, creating an allergy-friendly garden will certainly help. Check out our huge range of plants to get started.

 

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.